Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 22nd of May 2020 to The Sounding Line.
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The following chart, from HowMuch.net, shows an annotated history of West Texas Crude oil prices since 1986.
To put the uniqueness of the recent oil sell-off into perspective, the April 24th weekly low of $3.32 per barrel was the lowest weekly oil price since at least 1986. More so, the five largest weekly percentage drops in oil have all occurred this March and April. It is probably safe to say that April 20th, when then front month futures crude prices briefly went negative, was the all-time low for oil.
Top Five Biggest Weekly Increases in Crude Oil Prices
- May 1, 2020: +373.19%
- Jan 2, 2009: +28.56%
- Aug 8, 1986: +27.77%
- Aug 10, 1990: +24.29%
- Jun 26, 1998: +17.69%
Top Five Biggest Weekly Decreases in Crude Oil Prices
- Apr 24, 2020: -83.50%
- Mar 13, 2020: -28.92%
- Mar 20, 2020: -25.32%
- Mar 27, 2020: -19.64%
- Apr 17, 2020: -17.57%
Back in February, before the oil price rout, we wrote a series of articles examining US shale oil and gas production, concluding that without a significant increase in drilling activity, US shale production was likely to peak within a couple years. Since then, we have witnessed the largest decline in shale drilling activity on record, and production is already plunging.
As the global economy adjusts to our new normal, it is also worth considering early anecdotal signs from China that suggest that, as it relates to oil consumption, the desire to avoid public transportation may be as impactful as declines in commuting. It’s just one factor to consider when asking the question: what will oil demand look like in the post-lockdown world?
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